Jordan Kitts with NAMM in Washington, D.C. – Day 2

Tuesday morning began with a visit to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The visit was kicked off with briefings and welcome comments by Darrell Ayers, Vice President, Education, Kennedy Center; Joe Lamond, President and CEO, NAMM; Leo Coco, Senior Policy Advisor, Nelson Mullins; and Mary Luehrsen, Director of Public Affairs and Government Relations, NAMM. Briefings on Education Reform, Common Core, and Arts Education were presented by Chris Minnich, Executive Director of the Council of Chief State School Officers; Sandra Ruppert, Director, Arts Education Partnership; Richard Riley, Former United States Secretary of Education; and Maria Voles Ferguson, Executive Director, Center on Education Policy, George Washington University.

The morning continued with “Community Collaboration: Achieving Access and Equity in Arts Education”, presented by Darrell Ayers and Barbara Shepard, Director of National Partnerships, Kennedy Center. This session explored the Kennedy Center’s innovative Any Given Child initiative promoting arts education nationally. The visit was concluded with an overview and tour of the Kennedy Center, including the BlueNote at 75 exhibit, led by Kevin Struthers, Director of Jazz Programming, Kennedy Center.

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The NAMM Advocacy Fly-In Delegation at John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

In the afternoon, NAMM Delegates participated in a working lunch at the Nelson Mullins offices. Peter Fenn, Partner, Fenn Communications Group, provided an overview of the current political climate, outlook for 2014 Congressional elections, and projections for the 2016 Presidential race. He and Leo Coco facilitated a Q&A while a select group of delegates attended a White House event celebrating the Turnaround Arts Initiative with the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. Both President Obama and the First lady were present for the event that included the Savoy Players performing.

The afternoon concluded with a training, message and logistics discussion for the Capitol Hill meetings the next day, facilitated by Leo Coco. It included individual State teams meeting in small groups to prepare for the Hill visits.

On Tuesday evening, NAMM Delegates headed for the Library of Congress for a reception and dinner honoring the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH) Turnaround Arts Initiative. The talented Savoy Players from Savoy Elementary performed a wonderful dance and vocal routine that dazzled the audience. Kristen Madsen, GRAMMY Foundation, presented the first ever GRAMMY Music Educator Award to Kent Knappenberger, a music teacher from Upstate New York. He was the top nominee in the U.S. from over 32,000 submissions.

 

Review: Yamaha G2 Grand Piano

Yamaha G2 Piano Review

Although a great number of people are familiar with the brand of Yamaha, many are unfamiliar with the fact that the company has been building musical instruments since the 1800’s. The company began in Japan with its founder Torakusu Yamaha building his first reed organ in 1887. The company grew and prospered from its foundation in 1897, developing a vast array of product ranges including audio products, sports equipment, motorcycles and musical instruments.

Yamaha began making pianos in 1900, with their launch of the newly constructed models of upright pianos. This soon developed into a complete range of designs with their first grand piano being produced in 1902. The Yamaha G2 reflects the culmination of Yamaha’s decades of piano designing experience. It is an acoustic grand which produces big, clean sound with great ambience. The piano is capable of producing classic traditional sounds which create an outstanding effect. It is very easy to see why Yamaha grand pianos have become world renowned for their value and quality.

Yamaha G2 Grand PianoYamahas are a leading choice for pianists of any skill level around the world. They are consistently recommended by technicians and piano tuners simply because of the craftsmanship and uncompromising care which has been combined with the Yamaha expertise to create reliable and eloquent instruments.  Yamaha pianos are created in a state of the art production facility which utilises the skills, knowledge and dedication of an experienced workforce with an amazing degree of expertise.

Yamaha pride themselves on having in house access to a full range of technology which allows them to manufacture almost every single component of each piano themselves. This permits the initiation of development advances and maintenance of a superior level of quality control which sets the industry standard.

The Yamaha G2 features and advanced scale design and is wonderfully constructed with dovetail joints, solid maple caps and bridge, solid spruce ribs and soundboard, copper bass strings and spruce keys featuring hardwood buttons. The piano features balanced action which is unique to Yamaha designs, with specially created hammer shanks exclusive to the Yamaha range. The G2 was available in a number of finishes including polished ebony, American walnut, white, ivory or mahogany. It was also available in satin finishes such as ebony, American walnut or mahogany.

The G2 provides a well-rounded and full bodied sound. It typifies the delicate balance Yamaha has created between state of the art innovation and technology with the dedicated skills of experienced artisans. The G2 maintains the high Yamaha standard with few flaws and providing a great example of an acoustic grand.

If you are looking for used pianos, Atlanta musicians will struggle to find a model better than a Yamaha G2. It provides a wonderful tone and quality of sound which you may struggle to find on newer less crafted models. Yamaha has designed and constructed the G2 to endure the passing of time, which allows for, with a little tender loving care, a lifetimes enjoyment of this wonderful sound.

Right now, we currently have one Yamaha G2 for sale in our used pianos listings.

 

Piano Review: Cristofori G62L Grand Piano

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Many experts credit the first ever piano produced to Italian Bartolomeo Cristofori. This young creator of musical instruments dreamt of achieving musical perfection with a sound which would touch the heavens. His relentless pursuit of this goal led to the invention of the piano itself. For three hundred years, manufacturers have been producing various designs of piano, but one company sought to pay homage to the great musical inventor with their Cristofori branded range of pianos.

This six-foot two inch grand piano has been constructed with a solid soundboard of Siberian spruce to create a superior quality of tone and sound. This is complemented with the Mapes Gold Series duplex bar and German Roslau strings to clarify the tone. The solid maple bridges have been capped for strength to provide the best possible transmission of sound. These elements work in concert to provide a soft and rich tone which is wonderful for piano players of any level to experience and at a price that is pretty hard to beat these days.

The Cristofori Grand Piano features a wide tail design to allow a larger area at the rim and a bigger sound. This unique design allows for smaller models of piano to create the sound effect experienced with conventional larger grand pianos. This is accentuated with the custom design, reinforced and double felted hammers which are made from the highest quality material. The German hornbeam used for the action creates a superior precision, durability and tensile strength. This is supported with an extruded aluminum rail and action hangers to increase stability.

The multi-laminated birch/maple rims add a strength encouraging superior projection of tone. While the overall strength of the design is ensured with spruce beams, a laminated maple key bed and hard rock maple pin block. The Cristofori G62L also has a wonderful aesthetic appearance with available finished including ebony polish, ebony satin and walnut polish.

Cristofori are looking to follow the original dream and ambition of Bartolomeo Cristofori. They take pride in producing a musical instrument which is capable of producing passionate music to inspire everyone. They utilize the latest in Japanese piano manufacturing for ultimate precision.

Whether you are a beginner or a more experienced player considering used pianos, Washington D.C. piano players would make a sensible choice with a Cristofori G62L. The quality of finish and soft sound will complement any playing style and be a wonderful addition to any home.

You can inquire about a New Cristofori Piano here, or browse a few of our restored models available at hard-to-beat prices here.

Wolf Trap Piano Sale

Wolf Trap Piano Sale

A once-a-year opportunity to get pricing unavailable anywhere else on a quality piano used at America’s National Park for the Performing Arts is here!

Grand, upright and digital pianos provided to Wolf Trap by Yamaha are being replaced, and the pianos used this past season are now available. Pianos will be prepared for private acquisition and available to be seen at our Fairfax store location.

The event is open to the public Sunday, November 10 from 12noon – 5pm and Monday, November 11 from 10am – 6pm.

Or by appointment Friday or Saturday, November 8 or 9. Click here to make an appointment or for more info!

 

Yamaha U1 Upright Piano

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Yamaha have been a household name for generations. However, many people are unaware that the company’s musical instrument history dates back to the 1800’s. Contrary to popular belief Yamaha did not suddenly appear on the music scene in the 1970’s and 80’s. The founder of the company Torakusu Yamaha built his first reed organ in Japan in 1887. His interest in building innovative devices continued and facilitated the official development of the Yamaha brand in 1897. From this date the company expanded and prospered with their development of a vast range of products including sports equipment, motorcycles, musical instruments and audio products.

yamaha_u1Yamaha began their piano production in 1900. They launched several newly constructed designs of upright pianos. This quickly developed into a full range of styles and designs, including their first grand piano in 1902. The Yamaha U1 reflects this wonderful balance of historic and innovative design techniques together with the cutting edge modern technology that Yamaha are renowned for. This upright piano produces a clean traditional sound with a wonderful clarity. It is certainly one of the most sought after used pianos and it is easy to see why.

Yamaha pianos offer a great value and quality for any skill level of pianist. They are a leading choice which is recommended by industry professionals such as piano tuners and technicians, simply because the craftsmanship and expertise of Yamaha represents an uncompromising instrument which will create eloquent and reliable performance. Yamaha create their pianos in a state of the art manufacturing facility which has an experienced workforce with the skills, expertise, dedication and knowledge to create an amazing instrument.

Yamaha take pride in their in house technological facilities which allow the manufacture of almost every individual component for each piano. They utilize this facility to encourage advances in development to create a superior standard of quality control which sets the bar for the industry.

The U1 has solid spruce ribs and soundboard which are utilized for the best tone and quality amplification of sound.  The ribs continue to the very edge of the soundboard to reinforce the crown. This improves stability and ensures a high quality of tone for a great many years.

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The Yamaha engineers have also developed an innovative and unique aluminum alloy action rail which improves the action of the U1. This eliminates the fluctuations caused by the atmosphere in weather changes to produce long lasting and stable regulation of the action. Every key of the U1 has been individually measured and tested to produce a uniform down weight pressure. This creates an amazing balanced action which allows a lifetime of superior control and touch through the whole keyboard.

The keys are constructed from spruce for its light weight and strength. This costs more than alternative materials such as bass wood or sugar pine but it is ideally suited to the demands of key construction. It allows the keyboard to quickly respond and allow fast repetition in even the most intricate musical compositions. This will ensure that the keyboard can withstand even heavy use with years of fortissimo playing.

The Yamaha U1 is available in polished and satin ebony, polished and satin American walnut, polished white and polished mahogany. You can always inquire for the price of a new one on our website, or check our used pianos section for one.

How to Determine A Used Pianos Worth

Getting a fair price on used pianos in Washington D.C. can be a difficult task. Especially if one is looking for a top tier brand name piano such as a Yamaha or Steinway. These days, there are many sellers out there trying to sell their piano at a price way more than what it is actually worth. As buyers and sellers of used pianos ourselves, our job is to know what a piano is truly worth. Today, we are going to give you a few guidelines should you be attempting to purchase one from a private seller on your own.

Always Look For Name Brand Pianos

When looking for a used piano, your first rule should always be “stick with the brand names”. There are just too many no-name pianos floating around out there made with inferior materials and marketed to the lowest dollar amount. Those pianos are virtually worthless once purchased.

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Here is a list of some of the most trusted brands in the industry, and their respective price points:

Almost All Private Sellers Over-Price Their Pianos

There is, of course, a simple reason for this: Many sellers haven’t the faintest notion of how much their piano is worth and are too busy to do the research to find out. So instead, the list it for what they think it should be worth based either on what they paid for it or what it means to them. Knowing the market value of various models will give you the upper hand in your negotiations and will make sure you purchase your piano at a fair price.

There are plenty of resources out there which can be helpful in determining a pianos worth such as online auctions, piano forums, and craigslist.

Determine the Manufacturing Date and Serial Number

yamaha_serialAnother piece of information we suggest you know is the manufacture date and serial number of the piano you are interested in purchasing. This information is usually imprinted over a metal plate near the keys or inside the piano. As a precaution, a quick search online for the piano model and manufacture date can sometimes (though rarely) yield information about an issue specific to that series. You should also have it inspected over by a authorized piano servicer or technician to make sure it has been well taken care of.

Keyboard Condition

Prior buying or selling, one should test the sound for each key both at high and low volume. Make sure that there’s no defect in any key whatsoever that is neither should be out of tune or non functional. The variation by which a used piano is out of tune will also give you an idea of how well it was taken care of. If the piano is way off tune, it may be indicative of a piano that has not been cared for well or rarely tuned. Thus, more costly tunings and/or repair may be needed after purchase.

Visit a Used Piano Dealer

This can never hurt and may also help put into perspective some of the prices you’ve come across. Piano dealers are often trying to move used pianos quickly and often price them as low as they can possibly go. While you may not get a “steal” on a piano, there are some very attractive upsides to buying a piano from a dealer that sells used pianos.

  • The piano will have been checked thoroughly by a technician prior to any dealer acquisition.
  • Any tuning or repair work will have already been done. So no extra expenses to rain on your parade when you get the piano home.
  • A dealer can be visited after-the-purchase should something go horribly wrong.

Remember, every piano is different and each has its own back-story. The best piece of information on a piano is an accurate history. Who owned it? For how long? And how was it used? The right answers to those questions can raise the worth a piano substantially.

Roland RM-700 Digital Piano Review

Roland RM-700 Digital

From the outset, the new Roland RM-700 reveals a new direction for Roland® pianos. It offers all the same features of the KR-Series pianos and then goes on to improve them with excellent new features from some of Rolands other high end products.

It features an 88-note multi-sampled piano which is powered by Roland’s very own Sound Source Chip from the HP-Series pianos, along with their new PHA II Progressive Hammer Action with escapement and Ivory Feel keyboard. Enhanced educational applications like Visual Lesson, DigiScore and Wonderland from the successful I-Series pianos also makes an appearance. The inclusion of a beautiful touchscreen LCD featuring several stunning apps such as Slide Show, Anime and Piano Roll from Roland’s unique VIMA products really help to round out the package.

In person, one of the first things people notice about Roland’s RM-700 is the simple, classic design which comes in two different elegant finishes: classic ebony or warm mahogany wood. The unit also uses the “toe-block” design with the front legs. This is a feature you really only see on higher-end acoustic uprights. It gives the piano a more traditional appearance while adding stability.

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When you sit down to play the piano you are immediately impressed with the look and feel of the aptly-named “Ivory Feel” keyboard. It’s textured keys are made of a special material to absorb oils and moisture during playing. It faithfully replicates the same look and feel of real ivory and ebony keys. Everything was thought of in the design of this Roland. It even replicates the “escapement” feel you get on an acoustic grand piano that occurs when the hammer releases. To put it mildly, the results are stunning.

The rich and full tones that emit from the RM-700 are a credit to its powerful digital technology. 88 notes of samples taken from a nine-foot grand captures each subtle nuance. All keys are touch sensitive, becoming louder the harder you play. And each key has varying tonal “colors” which mimics a real piano and is essential for artistic expression during play.

This is one of those pianos that has too many features to name. My advice, come into our store and play it! We carry both new and used variants. If you keep a keen eye on our used pianos page, you may even spot one at a great price. Although they don’t last long!

Mason & Hamlin Model A – Piano Review

Mason & Hamlin Model A

There is nothing as elegant or beautiful as the sight and sound of a grand piano.  The notes float upon the air reaching everyone’s ears.  Looking upon a grand piano makes you realize how beautiful the music is going to be that comes from the keys.  Unfortunately many people are unable to make the room for a grand piano.  They just don’t have the space required to fit a grand piano into the room they want.


Mason Hamlin Model A SoundboardThe Mason & Hamlin Model A piano came from a design by Richard Gertz, one of the 19th and 20th Century’s premiere piano designers. Gertz was trained by some of the great piano engineers at the Bösendorfer and Blüthner factories where he worked on the design and build of the modern Steinway pianos. He then moved on to design and build his own creation: the Mason & Hamlin piano.

The tonal similarities between Mason & Hamlin and Steinway pianos are no accident. In some ways, Gertz took an world-class school of thought and advanced it with his new creation at Mason & Hamlin. It is little wonder that Mason & Hamlin have a reputation for being “the poor man’s Steinway” and some even believe them to be more durable. The pianos are handcrafted in Haverhill, Massachusetts to the highest standards in the industry with materials and parts that we find to be equal or superior to the materials and parts found in much higher-priced pianos .

The Model A piano that is made by Mason & Hamlin is the grand piano for people with limited space.  It is a baby grand with the dimensions needed to fit into anyone’s home with ease.

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Made with the professional in mind, the Model A Piano is perfect for any purpose – whether it is instruction or personal use.  Due to new innovations in piano design and construction, the tone of this piano is very close to the depth that you find on larger grand pianos.  Nothing is lost because of the size.  It is perfect for homes, conservatories and musical institutions.

It is due to the innovations of today that such rich sound can come from a small piano.  With dimensions of 5ft 8 ½ in in length and a width of 56.12 inches, this piano is of small stature no doubt but it is made of a hard rock maple – so it will last for generations.  The grace and beauty of the piano are just the beginning.

You can get the finish to match any décor you have in your home.  Whether mahogany, walnut or Brazilian rosewood is your favorite, it is available.  There are also such finishes as ebony in both satin and high polish.

For pricing or more information on the Mason & Hamlin Model A, click here.

Also, from time to time we happen upon very beautiful Used (and professional restored) Mason & Hamlins, like this one. So always be on the lookout on our used pianos page.

JKM Pianos Abound on Inauguration Day

Inauguration Day Piano

List of some of our pianos used on Inauguration Day, who played them, and where they were used:

  • Yamaha DS4 – played by Ben Folds at the National Day of Service on the National Mall
  • Yamaha DC3 – played by John Legend at the National Portrait Gallery for Generation  Now Party
  • Yamaha DC3 – played by John Legend and Cyndi Lauper at the Italian Embassy for the DNC Committee Brunch
  • Yamaha DGB1K E3 Classic – played by Stevie Wonder at the National Building Museum for the Inaugural Candlelight Celebration
  • Yamaha DGB1K E3 Classic – played by Katy Perry’s Band at the Convention Center
  • Yamaha DC3 – played by Jamie Foxx at the Convention Center
  • Yamaha DS6 – played by Alicia Keys at the Commander-in-Chief Ball at the Convention Center

Elton John, Jordan Kitt’s Music and Yamaha’s 125th Anniversary

Elton_John_Yamahaf

Jordan Kitt’s was just honored with front row seats at Yamaha’s 125th Anniversary Celebration at Disneyland’s Hyperion Theater in Anaheim, CA. This concert featured performances by, among others, Michael McDonald, Toto, Sarah McLachlan and the Rocket Man himself, seen here with two familiar faces in the background (Jordan Kitt’s President Chris Syllaba center left & CFO Ray Fugere far right). Sir Elton performed on one of his custom Yamaha midi-grands, with his performance being transmitted live, note by note, through numerous Yamaha Disklavier grands in 19 different countries simultaneously! Combined with the 70-piece back-up orchestra transmitted via live video/audio feed, it was the world’s first such performance beamed live around the planet.